The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
What is completely amazing is that with these conditions attacking his mental abilities Dr. P was able to function and continue working with his music students. The left side of the brain controls four very important everyday functions. Listening, calculations, logic and analysis.
The author makes a very interesting observation. Neurology and psychology discuss many facets and explanations of our mental processes but almost never talk of “judgment”. However, whether in a philosophic sense or an empirical and evolutionary sense, judgment is the most important faculty we have. Judgment must be the first faculty of higher life or mind, yet it is ignored or misinterpreted by classical neurology.
After several examinations Dr. Sacks concluded Dr. P was not capable of describing a glove properly. A five year old can describe a glove. Dr. P was completely lost in attempting the six faces put in front of him. Evidently there was difficulty in some of the attributes of the right side of the brain also.
When questioned by Dr. P as to what was wrong with him and what recommendations he would make Dr. Sacks replied in this way; I can’t tell you what I find wrong with you, but I’ll l say what I find right. You are wonderful musician and music is your life. In a case like yours, you must make music your whole life. That was the last time Dr. Sacks saw Dr. P. The brain is a machine and a computer. With one major difference. Our mental processes which constitute our being and life are not abstract and mechanical, but personal as well. This means we not only classify and categorize but we continue to judge and feel. If this is missing there is another Dr. P on the horizon.
In his introduction Dr. Sacks makes one important reference to the right side of the brain to use his terminology the “right hemisphere”, in relationship to direct consciousness. The listings include emotion, conceptual...